Chaplain’s Corner, Febraury 2012

Here we are in the midst of these winter months with the ice, snow, rain, and winter chills in our bones, and we are desperately looking forward to spring! Many people suffer from “S.A.D” or Seasonal Affective Disorder during these winter months, where they become overwhelmed with an uneasy sadness of heart and spirit, not to mention depression, lethargy, and apathy. We long for the first signs of spring to burst forth to give us a sense of hope and new life! So, we need something to cheer us up and re-energize our spirits.

I read something interesting recently on the internet which I believe is worth reflecting on and which I would like to share with you. It was entitled: “The Experiment: Violinist in the Metro”.

A man sat at a metro station in Washington D.C. and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then he hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a three year old boy. His mother tagged him along hurriedly, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pulled harder and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell held a sold out concert at a theatre in Boston, with the seats averaging $100.

Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: if we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

Something to ponder as we await spring!

Always at your service, Father Joe D’Angelo

President’s Message, February 2012

Unfortunately during the closing months of 2011, I had occasion four times to express Shields condolences at the wakes of Shields members or other members of the law enforcement profession. They all were grateful for my presence and our condolences. Hopefully 2012 will be a better year.

2012 will start off with a change in our scholarship program. Recognizing the changing dynamic in our organization we will be offering for the first time a grandchild scholarship for eligible members. Details will be in the next edition of the Call Box.

I wish to thank Supreme Court Justice Gregory Lasak for taking the time to inform us of the details of the trail regarding the murder of PO John Scarangello in 1981. Judge Lasak was the prosecuting DA at that time.

As promised, I recently had a conversation with Cynthia (495-8246) of Patterson Fuel, who assured me that, their yearly service contract is extended to Shields members at no cost.

Just to give you a heads up, Rich Rottkamp has already booked our 2012 Moonlight Sail for Friday August 10th. Don’t miss a good time.

Herman Bell is once again seeking parole, please help to keep him confined to our state facility. Bell was convicted for the 1971 cowardly ambush and killing of Patrolmen Joseph Piganentini and Waverly Jones.

I was very proud of our members and friends for the tremendous number of toys and games we recently delivered to St. Christopher’s Family Services. Your donations were greatly appreciated, as evidenced by their response on page 13.

Speaking of Christmas, I must congratulate Mike and Nicole Villa for once again running a great Children’s Christmas Party. Also thanks go to Bob Forrester for finding Santa for our Children.

Hope we see you at the meeting on the 23rd. Remember the men and women who are protecting our freedoms every day.


Police Officer of the Month, February 2012

Detective Mark Lobel was appointed to the NYC Policec Department on Oct 15th, 1990 Previous assignments include patrol in 102 Pct In 1993 he was assigned to the 113 PCT In 2001 he was assigned to the 113 Sqd During his time at the 113 Pct. he was assigned as the community affairs officer. It was during this assignment he became actively involved in the effort to have the street in front of the precinct renamed in honor of Police Officer John Scarangella.

One would think that this would be a simple task, honoring a police officer killed in the line of duty. Who could possibly object to paying tribute to an officer who paid the ultimate price for protecting the citizens of New York City ? Det. Lobel soon found out that there are a lot of people who were opposed , including elected officials of NYC. This made him more detemined that justice for PO John Scarangello included the street renaming. The efforts by Det. Lobel continued for several years , undaunted by one excuse or another by city officials why it could not be done. They ranged from a moratorium on street name changes to should every police officer killed in the line of duty have a street named in their honor ? Personally I think the latter was a great idea.

After years of lobbying local elected officials the efforts Det. Lobel and others came to fruition. On May 1st, 2011 the street renaming ceremony took place and the street in front of the 113 Pct. on Baisley Blvd. was renamed Police Officer John Scarangella Way. For his efforts on behalf of the Scarangello family and the entire NYC Police Department we applaud him. His efforts bring credit to him, the 113 Pct., the NYC Police Dept., and the entire law enforcement community. For his tireless effort , dedication and perseverance the Long Island Shields are proud to name him the “Cop of the Month”.